Can you imagine the joy and excitement the team at Camp Lesik felt when they spotted an unexpected visitor after nine long years?
In the last few days, the Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team at Camp Lesik had barely seen any rain. When clouds started covering the sky, they were a welcome sight as the rangers could feel the temperature drop. The cooler conditions served them well as they took the week to carry out repairs and maintenance while also setting on patrols towards the Gunung Belah area.
It was a tranquil late afternoon when, suddenly, an unexpected visitor appeared at the camp. At first, our PRM team suspected the ‘visitor’ was Lesan, a female orangutan who often visits with her small family.
But not his time. To their surprise, it turned out to be Sarmi, whom they hadn’t seen for a long time, starting to snack on oil palm fruits in the vicinity. Sarmi’s last sighting was in 2014, a year after her release in the northern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest. At that time, she had formed a warm friendship with Berlian, another female orangutan in the same area.
When observed by our PRM team, Sarmi displayed no aggression and seemed indifferent to the presence of the humans. All she wanted to do was consume oil palm fruits without any disturbance.
The only oil palm tree around is on the main road leading to the camp. This tree has existed since before Camp Lesik’s inauguration in 2014. Some orangutans, including Sarmi, Lesan and her children, Sayang and her small family, and even other wild orangutans, visit the tree to enjoy the ripe oil palm fruits.
After satisfying her appetite, Sarmi did not linger. She swiftly made her way into the thickets behind her, travelling towards the river. As the sunlight faded, Sarmi also vanished, disappearing deeper into the forest wilderness.
It was great seeing you, Sarmi!
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